Copyediting 3: Progress

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is the gateway to the CIEP's copyediting mentoring scheme. It is suitable for those who already have a good grounding in copyediting, and preferably some experience, who feel ready to advance to the next level. It is also suitable for copyeditors who are returning after a break, and wish to update, refresh or check their skills.

This course requires you to understand the basics of copyediting as taught in Copyediting 1: Introduction and Copyediting 2: Headway, including:

  • the types of error a copyeditor is expected to spot and correct, and how to correct them efficiently using Microsoft Word Track Changes
  • some of the common editorial conventions in British English, how they may differ in US English, and how to apply them
  • a basic understanding of how to approach elements such as notes, references and illustrations
  • an understanding of how to exercise judgement in how much to change and how to communicate effectively with the author regarding those changes
  • understanding and implementing the brief provided by a client
  • where copyediting fits into a variety of publication processes.

If you are unsure about any of these aspects, then you are strongly advised to take course Proofreading 1: Introduction before attempting this course.

You will also need:

  • fluency in English
  • good knowledge of English grammar
  • wide general knowledge
  • familiarity with the functions of word processing programs – this course assumes use of MS Word (Office 365)
  • familiarity with basic markup tools for PDFs (this course assumes knowledge of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC).

While this course provides helpful links to information on these aspects, it does not teach the rules of grammar or spelling, or how to use software.

Course description

This course consolidates the concepts introduced in Copyediting 1: Introduction and Copyediting 2: Headway, and considers the technicalities of copyediting tables, notes and references, and preliminary and end pages. The exercises cover a variety of texts, from public information to academic books, and give a lot of scope for practice. It is a course for editors with some experience; we expect you to have a grasp of the main tasks involved in copyediting and some practical knowledge of carrying them out.

Copyediting 3: Progress is an assessed course. Passing the final assignment acts as part qualification for acceptance into the copyediting mentoring scheme. Two upgrade points are awarded for completing the course, and a further three for passing the final assignment.

What you should know after the course

After taking this course you should be confident in your knowledge of how to deal with material that is more complex than straightforward text – or should know where to look if something unusual crops up. You should be clear in your own mind on what sort of text best suits your copyediting skills, and you should know as a result of your tutor's marks and comments exactly where you need to work hardest to improve.

Availability, prices and upgrade points

Price (members)  
Price (non members)  
CIEP upgrade points 5
  Book now

Other price discounts are available. See the fees page.

Online courses take between 10 and 45 hours to complete, depending on the course, but you have access to the course materials for 6 months.

Online course structure

Time allowed for access: 6 months CIEP upgrade points: completion 2; pass 3
Approximate study time needed to complete the course: 20–25 hours

This is an assessed course. You will be assigned a tutor who will be available for up to 1 hour of support (usually by email), and the tutor will also mark and provide feedback on three assignments. The first two assignments are marked so that both you and your tutor can assess whether you are at about the right level for the course (if you are struggling, you can put the course ‘on hold’ and come back to it later, after more training or experience). See also ‘Time management’ below. The three exercises in the middle of the course are self-assessed against model answers.

Your performance on the final assignment determines whether you have passed the course. When you have finished the course you can download and print a certificate that states either that you have passed the course – with merit or with distinction if you do well – or, if you are unlucky enough not to have passed, that you have completed it.

Unit 1 reminds you of the principles and practice you should already know, as covered in Copyediting 1 and Copyediting 2.

Unit 2 covers how to prepare and mark up tables, what problems to look out for and how to communicate your instructions to the typesetter.

Unit 3 looks at styles used with three commonly used reference systems and gives some general tips on how to organise work on notes and references.

Unit 4 introduces the topic of prelims and provides tips on what to look out for when copyediting them.

Unit 5 provides a good grounding in editing and preparing end matter, which is not dealt with in great detail in books about editing.

Unit 6 offers a choice of assignment. Choose a text from either the humanities or the sciences to send to your tutor for assessment. Your work on this assignment will determine your result for the course.

Time management

  • When you are planning your coursework, allow time for your tutor to respond to any queries you raise and for your three assignments to be marked before the course expiry date.
  • Tutors usually respond to ad hoc queries about the course within a day or so.
  • All CIEP tutors are also full-time editors, so they are unlikely to be able to mark your work immediately.
  • Tutors will guarantee to mark and return your assignments within three weeks of you submitting them, except in exceptional circumstances. In such circumstances, your tutor will contact you to explain the delay.
  • Marking turnaround is usually considerably shorter than three weeks.
  • We strongly recommend that you wait for the return of your marked work before attempting the next section of the course.

Book now All courses